Outgoing Estevan Bruins Assistant Coach Phil Fife has already begun assembling his new team in Amherst, Nova Scotia.
The 30-year-old New Brunswick native was recently named the new head coach and general manager of the Amherst Ramblers of the Maritime Junior Hockey League.
"I'm pretty excited for the opportunity, I think it's going to be a good opportunity, but at the same time I think I'm going to miss being in Estevan and coaching with Tarts (Head Coach Jason Tatarnic) and Aren (Assistant Coach Aren Miller)," Fife said. "It's been a pleasure the last three years here and I think I'll always have special memories coaching here in Estevan."
Fife said winning the SJHL title in 2022 is among the things he'll remember most about his time in southeast Saskatchewan.
"I think just meeting the people in the community, and coming to the rink every day, coaching the players," he said. "And of course you're always going to remember winning the 2022 SJHL championship."
"I think seeing a team that came together the way that one did...we never had the year before to build that team. And to see those guys connect so well for just knowing each other for such a short period of time was great, and I think I'll use that experience in Amherst for the coming years hopefully."
Fife worked under the tutelage of Tatarnic, who he played for prior to joining him behind the bench. He said there are a lot of things he learned that he can take forward.
"I think just practices, and coming to the rink every day with a smile on your face trying to always find the positives in things," Fife said. "The big thing I learned from Tarts is to always have an open door policy...in today's game you have to build connections with each and every player."
The move also allows Fife to be closer to home.
"To be honest that wasn't really done on purpose, that was just kind of the opportunity that came about," he said. "It's exciting and it does get me closer to home with family and all that good stuff, so I think it'll be nice in that way."
Fife arrived in Estevan in 2020 and spent three seasons with the Bruins.